Rivers From the Future: Drawing the Long Story

David Haley
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An Ecological Arts Research Project

Creating a pattern book of North West Pennine waters will generate different knowledge from mapping processes and will prompt the continuous formation of questions:

- Given the changes in agriculture, development of the Northern Way and the acceleration of climate change, how will fresh water be valued and maintained as a common right for all species in North West England?

- Using the form of a pattern book to observe and reflect on the situation, how may knowledge be generated, gathered, retained and disseminated?


An eco-centric culture is one that embodies integral critical futures, or rather, one that generates capacity and capabilities to become resilient and adaptive – a creative community of enquiry. This paradigm shift in economic, environmental and societal values may challenge current landscape aesthetics.


Developed as an ‘integral, critical futures study’ into the environmental and social impacts of the Northern Way, this project will include ‘the voice of the many’. An interactive storytelling tour of the region, meandering from water to water, will engage diverse ‘communities of interest’ and participation in spatial planning. It is hoped to generate creative critical capacity through a ‘transformative, reflective practice’.

Keywords: Ecological Art, Drawing, Pattern Book, Stories, Rivers, Water, Integral Critical Futures, Spatial Planning, Participation, Poetry, Dialogue
Stream: Arts Agendas
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

David Haley

Research Fellow, Ecological Artist, SEA: Social & Environmental Arts Research Centre
Faculty of Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester, Lancashire, UK

In addition to ecological arts commissions, arts research programme development and postgraduate/research teaching, the contributes regularly to international journals, publications and conferences. Culminating in 2005, ‘Evolving the Future’ international arts and climate change symposium, his long-term ecological arts programme for Shrewsbury Museum and Gallery considers creative opportunities for the future of people living with the River Severn. Haley perceives our ability to survive climate change as the enactment of an
evolutionary narrative. His interdisciplinary research attempts to integrate quantitative and qualitative methodologies into the creative process. This informs his arts practice to generate poetic dialogues that resonate as creative interventions in pursuit of aesthetic diversity to develop communities of inquiry for an eco-centric culture.

Ref: A06P0365